Fires in the home can build and spread quickly so time is of the essence if a fire breaks out. Therefore, it is important that you take the proper precautions and have a life-saving plan ready for action. Read on for fire safety tips and resources to assist you in protecting yourself and your family members.
Create a Fire Escape Plan
Perhaps the most important of all the fire safety tips is to have a fire escape plan practiced and ready. Make sure to discuss your evacuation plan together as a family. Also, consider holding mock fire drills several times a year so that everyone will be prepared if a fire breaks out. Here are some elements to include in your plan:
- Choose a meeting spot
- Have a backup plan in case planned exits are blocked
- Find two ways out of each room
- Consider specific needs of everyone in your household (i.e., children, seniors)
- Identify the person who will help with each pet that lives in the house
- Assign family members to each of the fire safety tips below
Invest in Fire Protection Systems and Tools
Make sure smoke alarms and sprinkler systems are installed on every level of your home and in good working order. Test them monthly to ensure the batteries do not need to be replaced. According to the American Red Cross, these smoke alarms and sprinklers together reduce your risk of dying in a home fire by 82% in relation to having neither.
Fire Safety Tips for the Kitchen
Keep combustible items away from cooking areas, roll up your sleeves while you cook, and turn pot handles inward to prevent bumping into them and so that children cannot grab them.
Properly Handle, Use, and Store Hazardous Materials
Chemicals, spray paint, combustible dusts, and flammable liquids are examples of special fire hazards that need to be handled properly to avoid fires. Contact your local offices to find out how to safely dispose of these items.
Keep Proper Equipment Handy
Invest in a fire extinguisher (or two) and keep it in an accessible location – ideally, you should keep it off the floor and mounted to a wall with metal brackets. Learn how to use it and make sure that it is the correct type of extinguisher for your home. It is recommended that your home have at least one fire extinguisher, but 2 or 3 may be necessary depending on the size of your home and if your home has multiple floors. Having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and another that is centrally located may be sufficient if your home is ranch-style, or single level. Finally, make sure to inspect it regularly and keep the inspection tag updated and intact. Here is a list of other fire safety equipment you might consider for your home:
- Fire blanket
- Fire escape ladder
- Emergency escape mask
- Burn injury first aid kit
Use Space Heaters Wisely
Allow adequate space for any portable space heaters. Keep them at least three feet away from walls and furniture or anything flammable. Be certain that cords are not frayed or damaged and that they are unplugged when not in use.
What to do in Case of a Fire
- Yell “Fire!” several times, get out, stay out and call 9-1-1.
- Cover your nose with a shirt or damp cloth to prevent inhaling smoke as you make your way out of the house.
- If closed doors or door handles are warm or smoke is blocking your way, use your alternative evacuation route. Do not open doors that are warm to the touch.
- If you must escape through smoke, drop to the ground, and proceed under the smoke as low to the ground as possible toward your exit. Close doors as you exit them.
- If smoke, heat, or flames block all exits, stay in the room with doors closed. Place a towel under the door and call 9-1-1.
- If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll.
- Stay calm.
Call in the Restoration Pros
Trust the team of professionals at Action 911 to clean up after a fire and remove any toxic elements that may have been left behind. Action 911 is professionally certified to handle this process for you. Call Action 911 if you experience a house fire so we can start the cleanup process as soon as possible.